Friday, June 25, 2010

Change In the Weather

Things have been going really great here in Alaska. Time is actually going as time goes, passing each day mostly unrealized until one looks at the date and realizes that a whole summer month has almost gone by. It's been well-spent though.

The six of us girls still love each other dearly and have enjoyed many adventures. We hiked Mt. Roberts at midnight (using our head lamps) so we could get to the top in time for a 3:30 sunrise. The very peak of Mt. Roberts overlooks part of the Icefield behind Juneau, all up and down the Gastineau Channel that separates Douglas Island from the main city, as well as over Douglas Island. It was beautiful to watch each mountain top be lit by the rising sun.

We have also gone on many other hikes together, been camping, been climbing multiple times, had a series of dance parties in the car and in the living room, made very good use of the marshmallow gun, and continued to try our best to love and care for each other fully.

What strikes me most these days is the familiarity of Juneau. What was once just a summer fling with my sister, brother-in-law and roommate, has turned into a reoccurring theme that I can no longer deny a place in my heart. Juneau has become just as much a part of me as has any other home I have had. The faces that once had just a "that one summer in alaska" identity, have now taken on their own identity as the person behind the face has let themself be known. I walk around town and know people almost everywhere that I go. I drive past houses that once held people I love and others that still do.

The one thing that always seems to get me is the Tram. I know that sounds odd, but everytime I walk by the tram I am struck with this odd sense of familiarity. How weird it is that seeing it is normal and I can almost picture it perfectly in my mind. So many pieces of my time in Juneau have been spent around that building, all three years. Yet the building itself holds no significance to me, it is just oddly familiar.

And yet, despite the familiarity, I am still finding new things that excite me, either completely new in nature or things that have always been there yet still catch my breath every time I see them, like Mt. Juneau or the Shrine of St. Therese or whales breeching. Even my house, though I lived in it two years ago with the Chilkat family, is new and exciting to me, holding only the memories of this year while allowing the ones of old to be protected and unscathed in their own memory box seperate and apart from the one that holds the new adventures of now. As a dear friend of mine wrote "there is also a sense in which no one in the world has ever lived in that house, the past never happened, and the house and the neighborhood and the town and the mountains are all yours to experience brand new. because the winter came and went, and the new season begins" (Jackson Tandy). And this has been true for me every year, though I keep returning to the same place, it is always new.

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